Herzog & de Meuron pavilions contrast to “pompous” Milan Expo

Three wooden pavilions designed by Herzog & de Meuron to highlight the Slow Food movement, which promotes regional cuisine and a relaxed way of life are part of the Milan Expo.

Jacques Herzog – one of the original masterplanners of the event, before he walked off the project – was invited by Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini to design the organisation’s exhibition space.

According to Slow Food, they offer an alternative to the “pompous and unsustainable structures that would only distract visitors from the real purpose of the event”.

The architect said he saw it as an opportunity to show what the Expo could have been under his direction –  a series of simple structures that are cheap and easy to assemble.

Images by Marco Jetti 

The firm said: “As much as we were convinced that our masterplan would be a good platform for the radical re-invention of what a world exhibition could be in the 21st century, we understood that the organisers would not undertake the necessary steps to convince the participating nations to give up on their conventional indulging in self-contemplation instead of focusing on their specific contribution to agriculture and food production.

“But Carlo Petrini has, since the beginning, been one of the most striking and interesting figures involved in the early planning and had therefore been one of the reasons of our own involvement. His radical intellectual and philosophical approach to the questions of biodiversity and food production was the main inspiration for our masterplan.”

Slow Food was founded in Italy during the 1980s. Its primary aim is to demonstrate the importance of understanding where different foods come from, and the effect they have on the environment.

Located at the far end of the Expo site, Herzog & de Meuron’s Slow Food Pavilion comprises three simple wooden sheds, all of which offer shelter but due to their open sides are also exposed to the elements.